January 8, 2003
Strolling through the headlines
Lot's of stuff going on, so let's get right to it...
In one of the stranger events of the off-season, the Marlins sold the rights to Kevin Millar to the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese League.
Yes, that's right - the same Chunichi Dragons that Tom Selleck played for in the epic film Mr. Baseball!
Looking at those two pictures, Kevin Millar kinda looks like Tom Selleck, except he has the mustache on his chin and it is vertical, not horizontal.
I have to say, I flat out do not understand this at all, from anyone but the Dragons' point of view.
Kevin Millar is a very good hitter and could help a lot of teams, including the Red Sox, whom I read earlier were interested in acquiring him.
Check out his numbers from 2000-2002:
2000 = .259/.364/.498
2001 = .314/.374/.557
2002 = .306/.366/.509
Those numbers were good for EqAs of .289, .312 and .300.
To put that in some context, here are some 2002 EqAs:
Ichiro! = .302
Nomar Garciaparra = .304
Alfonso Soriano = .304
Eric Chavez = .296
Derek Jeter = .296
Miguel Tejada = .300
Jeff Bagwell = .310
Mike Piazza = .303
Those are some impressive names, although that is not to say that Kevin Millar is as good a player as any of them.
But, purely for hitting ability, Millar is certainly right up there.
As a first baseman, left fielder or designated hitter, he would probably be among the top 5 players at his position in whichever league he was in.
And now, he'll take his .300 EqA to Japan.
Like I said, this is just very confusing to me.
I don't understand why Millar would want to go to Japan at this point in his career, after struggling through years in various independent leagues and now finally starting to become an everyday player in the Major Leagues that teams are interested in.
I don't understand why the Marlins would sell him to Japan, instead of trading him to a Major League team for some prospects or something, or (gasp!) actually keeping him and batting him in the middle of their lineup.
I guess it is sort of nice that some good players are going to Japan, since we seem likely to take most of their star players within the next several years.
I wrote on this subject in some depth all the way back on October 15th and, since it's in the news now, I figured I would give everyone a chance to read (or re-read) what I wrote about it.
ESPN.com had a couple of "chats" with two of my favorite writers in the past couple days.
To check out Rob Neyer's chat, click here.
To go to John Sickel's chat, click here.
No real earth shattering revelations in either chat, but those guys are 2 of my favorite writers and I always enjoy their chats.
I really enjoyed writing and researching the two Keltner articles that I wrote for Baseball Primer (on Murray and Dawson) and I was shocked at Sandberg's low vote total, so I had a good time checking out Christian's look at Ryno.
Go check it out and a) see if you agree with Christian's answers to the Keltner List questions and b) see if it changes your mind about Sandberg or just strengthens your opinion on him.
It's a good read and "The Cub Reporter" is one of my favorite blogs.
Two things immediately came to mind as I read the story:
1) Can you imagine Livan Hernandez playing golf? Seriously, try to picture it in your mind. You laughed, didn't you?
2) According the article, Livan Hernandez is 27 years old. Is there anyone in this entire world who has watched Livan Hernandez pitch at least 1 time that believes he is within 3 years of 27?
What does it say about Livan Hernandez that, not only would he get into a street fight with an "elderly man," but that he would feel the need to use a golf club against the guy?
Livan is listed at "6-2, 240" and I don't know that I believe "240" any more than I believe he is 27.
I am guessing Livan is 30 and is closing in on 3 bills, depending on what he had for breakfast before he attacked the old guy.
I'll also take a guess that he is a 31 handicap.
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